How should I maintain my garage door?The better you maintain and clean your garage door, the longer it will last. The best way to get the most out of your garage door is to maintain it regularly and, when you notice a problem, to address it immediately before further damage can occur. You can begin by simply cleaning your garage doors with a mild detergent using a soft car brush four times a year. Some people remember to clean their doors whenever they wash their car. Washing your garage doors regularly will reduce the build up of corrosive elements. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or corrosive chemicals on or around your garage doors. Wooden garage doors should be cleaned and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, they recommend you paint them initially on both the inside and outside and repaint the exterior surface every year or two. If you finish only the outside of a garage door, the door may warp due to moisture infiltration. Finally, keep the area under the door where it meets the ground free of obstructions. This area tends to build up dirt, leaves, cobwebs, and more – all of which prevents the door from creating a solid seal with the ground and potentially affecting the weight distribution and alignment of the garage door.

I heard a loud bang in the garage and can not open the garage door. What happened?
It is very highly likely that you have a broken spring that should be replaced by an experienced and qualified garage door service technician. If your springs (torsion springs) are on a shaft across the top of the door, you will see an approx 2″ separation in the spring. If your springs (extension springs) stretch along the track on the sides you will find that they are very obviously in two separate pieces. It is recommended that you replace both springs if only one is broken since they both have the same wear and tear.

How long should my garage door springs last?
The most common torsion springs have an expected life of about 10,000 “cycles”. A cycle is one opening and one closing of the garage door. The steel spring experiences tremendous force each time the door opens or closes. Gradually, the steel fatigues with each flex, and eventually cracks and breaks, usually releasing its stored energy in an instant with a loud noise or bang. In garage door repairs, most accidents occur during the replacement of the springs. While many door companies quote a flat fee for spring replacement, we prefer to quote a range and charge our customers for the actual cost of the spring that is on their own door. (Springs can vary in price by more than $30/spring.) Also, if one spring breaks and they were installed at the same time, it is likely that the other will not be far behind since they both have the same wear and tear. For this reason, we suggest changing both springs at once (we always replace both if they are extension type) to save you the expense of a second service trip.

How do I identify the parts of my garage door?
The opener is noisy when opening the garage door. Your garage door may be out of balance or the spring(s) may be broken. Close the door and pull the emergency release handle to disconnect the door from the motor track. Open and close the garage door manually. A door that is properly balanced will stay at any point when you lift it due to the spring tension. A door that seems too heavy to lift may have a problem with the springs. For help with springs, please contact Viper Garage Doors for a spring adjustment. Do not attempt to adjust the garage door springs yourself as they are under very high tension and can be very dangerous. My garage door opener does not operate from the wall control or the remote control. Does the opener have electric power? Plug a lamp into the outlet the opener is plugged into. If it doesn’t light, check the fuse box or the circuit breaker to see if the circuit is tripped. Keep in mind that a wall switch may control some outlets. Are the safety reverse sensors working? These devices located at the end of each door must be able to “see” each other. If there is any obstruction or if they have been accidently knocked out of alignment, try repositioning them. Some electronic eyes have an LED to let you know whether the device is receiving the signal from its partner across the doorway opening. Pull the emergency release cable and try to manually lift the door. If the garage door does not lift, the door spring(s) may be broken. This requires professional assistance. Call us to replace or adjust the springs. Repeated operation may have tripped the overload protector in the motor. Wait 15 minutes and try again.

Why will the garage door open, but will not close?
If the opener light is blinking, check the safety-reversing sensor for alignment. Learn more about safety reverse sensors. If the opener light doesn’t blink and it is a new installation check the down force on the operator motor case, or contact us for professional garage door repair.

What safety features are important in a garage door opener?
Your garage door is the largest, and probably, the heaviest moving object in your home. So the safety features of the device that lifts and closes the door are all-important. For the opener to work, certain safety devices must be installed. This is true regardless of the type, size or brand of opener you choose. These safety devices are built into the garage door system to prevent the door from closing when an obstruction is in the door’s path. Most openers auto-reverse the door when an infrared beam detects any obstruction in the door’s path. The U.S. government mandated the use of non-contact safety protections on all residential, motor-operated garage doors in 1993. Other safety features are:
Rolling-code technology selects a new, non-repeating access code from among billions of possibilities every time the remote control is operated. A keypad or touchpad outside the garage allows entry via a programmable code. If this feature doesn’t come standard with the unit you choose, it can be added as an option.
Many units have a simple doorbell-style button for opening and closing the door. Others have a more complex control panel with keypad programming and vacation lock to prevent the door from being opened while you’re away.
Most openers include a light, which should stay on for a few minutes after the unit is activated to allow time to get into the house.
Battery Backup feature that continues to operate the garage door opener even when the power is out, helping residents, homeowners and property managers through unforeseen, inconvenient outages. These units often supply power for up to two days, so even after 24 hours of standby time (i.e., full-day power outage), garage door opener will still perform 20 full “up and down” cycles.

How do I open the garage door when there is a power outage?
It depends on the model so always refer to the owner’s manual for further instructions. You can open the door from the inside using the red emergency release cord, which hangs from the mounted overhead opener. With the garage door fully closed, simply pulling the emergency cord straight down should release the door from the carriage, allowing you to operate the door manually. If at all possible, do not release the garage door when open, except for emergency or security purposes and close the door with caution. Opening the door from the outside requires installation of an emergency release lock.

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